Monthly Archives: September 2013

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” Dr. Suess, Oh the Places You’ll Go!

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” Dr. Suess, Oh the Places You’ll Go!

An important step to fulfilling the desire for publishing a book is moving from dreaming about it to actually doing it. On an annual trip with my girlfriends, a late night discussion lead to the creation of our individual bucket lists and mine included publishing a children’s book. It was then that I decided to take the next step. Just because I enjoyed writing or felt fairly comfortable composing did not mean I was equipped to actually write a book. The dream had always been there, but not the commitment. I began to research avenues available to me to learn how to write for children. I decided to research online sources, both fee based and free and decided to join the Children’s Book Insiders. CBI is a very reasonably priced self-paced writing course. There are many websites, blogs, and articles on the web as well. Read and heed the advice given, especially from those who have been there, done that.

What’s to learn? Lots. How to develop a story idea, how to develop characters, how to develop a plot, how to write for specific age ranges and even how many words a writer uses to tell their story depending on the audience are just a few lessons. There’s even a lesson on how to deal with rejection! Even once you feel your work is as complete as it can be, there are more lessons about submission, promotion, and marketing.

Do you think you want to publish a book? As Dr. Suess says, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So get on your way!”

“Writing a picture book is like writing War and Peace in Haiku” Mem Fox

“Writing a picture book is like writing War and Peace in Haiku” Mem Fox

Last night our local SCBWI group gathered for a meeting. Three new participants joined us. After settling some business, there was time for critiques. Anyone interested in getting feedback about a manuscript shared what they wrote. One member in particular read part of a story, the entire manuscript turned out to be more than 1500 words. Well written, but long for a picture book.

I remember well the first time I read for the group. I had about 1500 words as well. The group gave the same advice to the new member given to me. Cut to 1,000 words. Less, if possible. I think I know what my face looked like that night. And I remember thinking how difficult it will be to tell story using only 800-1000 words!

When I saw the quote, the title of this post by Mem Fox, I immediately identified. Someone once told me writing a picture book isn’t like writing a novel. As though it’s easy. That’s like saying the medical care of a child is easier than the medical care of an adult because they are smaller.

I think both are equally challenging. Write on.